The tourism industry in the Philippines is expected to recover well from three months of quarantine and restore the jobs lost by millions of Filipinos who are dependent on the industry.

Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat provided her assurance on Thursday, June 25, in the wake of a recent report that cited the tourism industry’s critical and growing role for providing employment to the millions of Filipinos not only in the Philippines but around the World.

Puyat said she based her optimism on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report on the industry’s performance last year which indicated an increase in tourism jobs of some 350,000, from 5.36 million to 5.71 million jobs—representing an increase of 6.5% over the number of jobs in 2018.

“I have high hopes that the significant share of employment the tourism industry provides, as consistently indicated by the PSA’s annual reports, will help spur our sector’s recovery from the impact of this pandemic,” Puyat said.

She said the industry’s 13.5% share in the total employment in the country means that 14 out of 100 employed Filipinos were in tourism-related jobs. Tourism has been one of the hardest hit industries ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recent easing of quarantine restrictions in some regions of the country has created a stir among industry stakeholders as tourism establishments, particularly the partial dine-in services in restaurants, were allowed to resume operations by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“Tourism stakeholders share the desire and determination of the nation’s labor force to get back to work as we embrace the New Normal,” Puyat said.

The tourism secretary earlier welcomed the PSA report on the share of tourism to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing to 12.7% in 2019 from 12.3% in the previous year. Further, she noted that the PSA report underscores the crucial role of the tourism industry as a vital component of the economy in terms of productivity and source of job opportunities.

As hard as it has been hit by massive losses, Puyat vowed that the tourism sector, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), will roar back with the government’s support both on the national and local levels.

Balikbayan Media Center
Balikbayan Media Center

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